Stephan Mathieu – Un Coeur Simple


Shortly after reworking David Sylvian’s “Blemish” on Wandermüde“, Stephan Mathieu presents another impressive work.

“Un Coeur Simple” (“A Simple Heart”) is the soundtrack of a play based on Gustave Flaubert’s novel, which was published in 1877 as the first of three tales.

In creating his personal soundscapes, Mathieu has always preferred using old source materials, things of the past, like wax-cylinders and 78 rpm records, as his source material….“a fascination for the past expressed through cutting-edge tools”.

>There’s a intriguing resemblance in cover art which links the music “Wandermüde” to “Un Coeur Simple”.
The source material is different, yet these sounds are immediately recognisable as the intimate work of Stephan Mathieu.

I would definitely love to see how the stretched drones that make up most of this album fit into a stage play rendition of Flaubert’s original work.

All ‘drone loveliness’ gets a sudden dramatic change of style at about 2/3 of this album, when the source material for “Devenir Sourd”(“Becoming Deaf”) consists of a distorted (78rpm vinyl style) choir recording slowly merging with morse signals and sounds of utter distortions and collapse.

This uneasy feeling is kept up for a while with the contradictive sounds in “Felicité” (felicity, or ‘happiness’), before the album concludes and slowly retreats to eternal rest with the 15 minute drone sounds of “Trace”, which seems to recall all that came before.

Apart from the album release on Baskaru, Stephan Mathieu’s own platform, Schwebung, also offers a 24bit FLAC download version for those of you that want to obtain the best sound quality available.


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